The Australian Greens are a confederation of like-minded groups in various States, the branches of which are autonomous. All officially affiliated branches feed into policy making at a national level, and accept the positions of spokespeople from the Australian Greens. However, State groups are not bound by any national policy or decision of the Australian Greens or other State groups. As at October 1996, the affiliated groups of the Australian Greens were: the Tasmanian Greens, the NSW Greens, the Australian Greens - Victoria, the Australian Greens - South Australia, the Queensland Greens, the ACT Greens and the Northern Territory Greens. The WA Greens are not affiliated, but there is a working arrangement. At the Annual Conference 8-10 August 1997 invited the WA Greens to merge. There are Green MPs at various levels of State and Federal government, among them a large portion of women. Some parties (the ACT Greens, the Tasmanian Greens and, from May 1997 on, WA Greens) hold the balance of power in their state. There is a significant presence of Greens in local government.
At 2 March 1996 there were national elections. Christabel Chamarette lost her seat in the Senate; Green Speaker Bob Brown entered the Senate